Belfast Telegraph

Kingspan goes global in search for new markets

By Dearbhail McDonald and Gavin McLoughlin

Kingspan has established an embryonic presence in Russia and has also started producing insulated panels in Mexico as it seeks to grow in Latin America.

The insulation business, which employs around 800 people at Kingspan Environmental in Portadown, has started selling products in the key South American market of Brazil, where it sees potential for strong expansion.

It is understood the firm has been researching the market for several years and has ambitions to make an acquisition to tap into the region. It is also believed to have begun selling products in Panama and Colombia.

On Friday Kingspan reported that its full-year revenue had surpassed €3bn (£2.6bn) for the first time, with trading profits up a third to just under €341m (£291m). The firm also owns Springvale Insulation, which based in Ballyclare.

Chief executive Gene Murtagh said 2016 was "another record year".

"Through our organic initiatives and acquisition strategy we are developing a truly global business well placed to capitalise on the transition towards a lower energy future," he added.

"We are encouraged about the outlook for the first half of 2017, with the current order book solidly ahead of the same point last year. With low debt levels and strong cash generation we retain the flexibility to invest in new opportunities".

Davy Research Analysts Flor O'Donoghue and Michael Mitchell said they were "very optimistic" for Kingspan's prospects despite some near-term challenges including rising raw material prices. Mr Murtagh told analysts to expect around €100m in cost inflation this year, with scope for an increase.

Belfast Telegraph